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Whitsunday Master Reef Guide 8:30am, Thu 21 Feb 2019

Industry legend, Terry Kemp is in a powerful position with a wealth of newly acquired knowledge about the Great Barrier Reef. Nominated by Cumberland Charter Yachts General Manager Sharon McNally, he is now one of two Master Reef Guides in the Whitsunday region after a rigorous interview process and was hand-selected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority to undertake the course.

Starting in Brisbane, the week long course in November had him travelling to Lady Elliot Island where delegates were mentored by experts in marine biology, environmental factors and also contains several modules online.

Mr Kemp has worked in the bareboating industry for 32 years, and prior to undertaking the course hadn't studied for years.

"That was difficult but nothing is impossible when you set your heart on it,” he said.

"Years ago, people wouldn't even consider the environment is at risk, but they do now, and they're very aware about what's going on,” he said.

"It is my job to be a conduit to all bareboat briefers about the health of the Great Barrier Reef so they can educate charterers about responsible reef practices and demystify facts about marine life and coral."

"As an eco accredited business we have a responsibility to help look after the reef."

Mr Kemp said the course was motivating, and encouraged anybody who was interested to apply.

"I was humbled, to be honest. I didn't really know that much about the reef before the course,” he said. "I knew about boating but not about what keeps the reef alive, what hurts it, the different types of coral and the fish.”

Cumberland Charter Yachts will be conducting Informative Reef training sessions for all their staff.

Sharon McNally said "We are all so proud of Terry embracing his new role, he has such a strong connection to the region making it a very easy decision to nominate him for the first cohort of Master Reef Guides. We were overwhelmed with excitement when he was selected."

"As we develop the training materials we hope to extend our Reef Training sessions to all local small business tourism operators, bareboat briefers, skippers, vessel crew, front line staff and cruise ship volunteers. In fact, anyone who has a passion for our region and the health of our reef." Said Sharon.

"We are so fortunate to live, work and operate tourism businesses in one of the most beautiful places on earth, rich in its flora, fauna, marine diversity, culture and history.
I strongly feel we do not promote theses assets enough and hope to create an area wide awareness and sense of ownership encompassing all our under utilised assets.  

If anyone would like to sign up to one of our Reef Training sessions please contact us at or call 07 4946 7500.

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